Global Warming Definition: "Global warming is a consistent upsurge in the earth's average temperature denoted by increasing global surface temperatures caused or influenced by the uninterrupted emissions of greenhouse gases, over 90% of the air getting polluted by carbon dioxide and CFCs like Methane and Nitrous oxide and other air pollutants affecting the climate sensitivity and levels of precipitation of the planet".
Global warming: What it is?
Over the past 50 years, there has been a gradual rise in the earth's average global temperature, and over the current years, this trend has been accelerating at a faster pace. This change has severely disrupted the climatic balance of the earth by trapping several greenhouse gas radiations in the atmosphere and causing the planet to get hotter. Dominantly, the largest source of this heat-trapping pollution lies in 1) combustion of fossil fuels, 2) Emissions from the transportation sector.
It is also known as the 'Greenhouse Effect,' which is one of the major causes affecting global warming. Though the current state of global warming is considered quite controversial, authentic researches have provided pertinent data to support the same.
Widespread adoption and implementation of necessary solutions are essential to restrain these emissions and curtail the intensified effects of climate change. Now, we shall move forward to a detailed discussion on the causes and effects of global warming.
Causes of Global warming:
Under this head, the causes can be divided into two 1) Manmade 2) Natural.
Global warming: is it a human-made cause?
Higher levels of Deforestation:
Deforestation affects the release of aerosols and other chemical compounds that affect clouds and changes in wind patterns, causing a flux in precipitation levels. In basic terms, Trees and plants are responsible for being the primary source of oxygen. By taking the carbon dioxide in, they release oxygen in the air, thereby maintaining a state of ecological balance, causing lesser air pollution. Planned human activities like continued forest loss for industrial and commercial motives drive the increase in carbon dioxide concentrations. As we know, Carbon dioxide is one of the leading heat-trapping gases, mainly responsible for average warming and environmental imbalance over the past few decades.
Transportation and use of vehicles:
In this fast pacing world, people often use vehicles even for covering short distances. Gaseous emissions from cars and vehicles often drive temperature rise by trapping energy, which translates into heat. Such activities come under 'anthropogenic forcing,' i.e., human-influenced forces.
Emissions of Chlorofluorocarbons:
In today's state of successive climate imbalance and issues of global warming, we all know that human-made causes have very high tendencies towards rising global surface temperatures. Other factors that add up to the causes are widespread commercialization and increased use of technological appliances such as Air conditioners and refrigerators. The atmospheric ozone layer is responsible for protecting the earth's temperature from the sun's harmful UV radiation. Such practices have added an extra layer of CFCs or Chlorofluorocarbons in the air, depleting the intensity of the ozone layer.
Emissions from industries and power plants:
According to a report stated in 2018, some of the significant global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions are almost equal to 52 billion tonnes of Carbon dioxide. Out of which 72% is released from industries and power plants. With the advent of industrialization, the rising usage of electricity and heat, global warming has increased.
Agriculture and land surface changes:
Frequent practices of agriculture take up almost 50% of the world's habitable land. Short term agricultural cultivation affects nearly 24% of the permanent land-use change. These activities also add up to the rise in temperature and GHG emissions.
Combustion of fossil fuels, overpopulation:
Most of the heat-trapping emissions from burning coal, gas, and oil from industries and cars along with widespread Deforestation and rising levels of black carbon pollution or 'soot' in the form of aerosols affecting earth's albedo comes under this type. Also, the primary gas causing Global warming is Carbon dioxide, which is influenced by rising overpopulation.
Natural causes of Global warming:
Volcanic eruptions: They constitute one of the significant natural causes affecting global warming because of the increased release of gases and smoke from the eruptions.
Natural forest fires: When significant scale vegetation burns, leading to forest blaze, there is a release of stored carbon and a rise in greenhouse gas emissions. These emissions further trap solar energy leading to Global warming.
Melting permafrost and glaciers: Towards the north and south poles of the planet, considerably large amounts of carbon are frozen in the form of permafrost. Disturbances such as solar activities, forest fires, volcanic eruptions can lead to the sudden release of GHGs and carbon sequestration into the atmosphere, giving way to ecological imbalances.
Solar activities: Changes in solar irradiance in wavelengths and other variations such as solar flares or sunspots, if larger enough, could have an unprecedented impact over global warming and atmospheric temperatures.
Global warming: Its effects and impacts
The major impacts of global warming include societal, economic, and health impacts. It can cause a lot of harm if it continues the same way as it is happening now. Here are its certain impacts:
Rise in temperature leading to ice melt: Melting glaciers and snow melts will cause severe water shortages and droughts with higher frequencies giving way to heatwaves and extreme weather conditions in the mid-latitudes. Thinning ice of the northern seas will make the atmospheric conditions vulnerable to control.
Ecological Risks: Global warming has contributed to the extension of drier climatic zones such as deserts in the subtropics. Mostly ecosystems and animal life will be affected by higher carbon dioxide levels and global temperatures leading to climate change, which will result in the extinction of many species and reduced ecological diversity.
The threat to marine life: Global warming can lead to the destruction of marine and coral life underwater. Higher content of carbon dioxide in the water inflicts damage to valuable natural resources.
Loss of settlements: Global warming can also lead to Inundation from sea level rise, which can further threaten infrastructure and establishments of human settlements. This severely leads to a decrease in the human population. Droughts, temperature rise, loss of glacial rivers puts the state of agriculture in the rampage.
Health factors: There are various indirect effects such as malnutrition inflicted by crop failures. Scanty rainfall leading to desertification can also cause several diseases due to global warming.
Flooding in low-altitude regions: Rise in sea level, and high flooding tendencies can damage human habitation and cause mass destruction.
1. What is Global warming?
A consistent rise in surface temperatures, because of increased emissions of greenhouse gases and other air pollutants leading to severe climate change is known as "Global warming".
2. What are the leading issues of global warming?
A few common man made causes include industrialization, use of vehicles, combustion of fossil fuels, deforestation, emission of CFCs etc. And natural causes include forest fires, melting glaciers leading to rise in sea level, volcanoes and imbalances in solar radiations.
3. What do you mean by ocean acidification?
When the acid content in the oceans increase owing to raised levels of polluted air circulation. It's known as Ocean acidification. It hampers marine life severely.
4. How can you control global warming?
Among the major solutions a few common ones are Energy efficiency, setting a high price on carbon, vehicle fuel economy, usage of biofuels from organic waste, and protection of more and more forests.
5. How global warming can hamper our lives?
Harmful impacts include Rise in overall global temperature, threat to aquatic life, flooding, desertification due to scanty rainfall, and loss of habitation.